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irtoRT 5KET01 or 

(RARLBIoN 

5-C 



HcW IT TARED !£ 
TWO VCAR5 AND 
AN EARTHQUAKE: 



IS3UED BY THE 

•ATLANTIC COAST LINE. 







SHORT SKETCH 



OF 



CHARLESTON, S. C 

HOW IT FARED IN TWO WARS 
AND AN EARTHQUAKE 



S 



ISSUED BY 

% THE ATLANTIC COAST LINE 



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THIRD EDITION. 

FIRST EDITION PUBLISHED IN 1886. 



Copyrighted, 1900, 
BY THE ATLANTIC COAST LINE. 



SHORT SKETCH 



CHARLESTON, S. C. 



CHARLESTON. 



IT is related of a young man who was about setting out on his first 
trip to Europe, that he was so elated as to be hardly able to 
think or speak of anything else, insomuch that after purchasing 
certain articles for his journey, he turned away without waiting for 
his money to be changed. The tradesman called after him: " Sir, 
you have forgotten your change." 

" Well, never mind," replied the youngster, dreamily, " you can 
hand it to me in London." 

" But," rejoined the dealer, " I am not going to London." 

" Not going to London! " exclaimed the bewildered youth, " then 
where on earth are you going? " 

So of those visiting our Southern States, it is hard to understand 
"where on earth are you going" if not to Charleston? 

On this side of the Atlantic one can hardly find a city offering 
more to interest than Charleston, whether considered historically, 
socially or physically. 

HISTORY. 

It is old as cities go in America, its settlement in its present loca- 
tion dating back to 1677, but it was not incorporated under the name 
of Charleston until 1783. Previously to that it had been called 
Charles Town, named in honor of the very virtuous king of Great 
Britain, Charles II., who, by charter in 1663, ''was graciously pleased 
to grant " to certain " Lords Proprietors " a vast region, larger 
than his own " tight little island," comprising both the Carolinas 
and a great deal more besides, of whose real extent either he or 
they knew very little. The trifling circumstance that the land was 



I 




SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. j 

not his to give was of small consequence. Charles was " hard up," 
if it be proper to apply that expression to royalty, and there, as 
elsewhere in America, it was expected of the colonists to quiet both 
the question of title and the real owners at the same time, if 
need be. 

The names or titles of these Lords Proprietors are preserved in 
the two Carolinas in the names of counties, rivers, etc., as, for in- 
stance, the rivers Ashley and Cooper; the counties of Berkeley and 
Colleton in South Carolina; the towns and counties of Beaufort in 
both States; Albemarle Sound and the counties of Carteret, Craven 
and Granville, in North Carolina, and others. 

Their names remain, but their authority was of short duration, 
the government of the Province of Carolina having been trans- 
ferred to the Crown in 1719 — so far as it concerned Charleston and 
South Carolina. 

In 1685 and thereafter came the Huguenots from France, after the 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Not cordially welcomed at first, 
they soon became, as their descendants have continued to be, one of 
the best elements of population here as elsewhere. 

And so the little city grew amid trials and drawbacks of Indian 
and foreign wars, but steadily prospering until the days of the 

REVOLUTION, 

in which it was very conspicuous and sorely tried. There was a " tea 
party " here, as elsewhere in the colonies, in 1773. The sale of the 
taxed article by its consignees was strictly forbidden, and the car- 
goes that were landed were stored in damp cellars, where the tea 
soon spoiled. On the 3d of November, 1774, other cargoes were 
thrown overboard in daylight without attempt at disguise. But it 
was not until 1776 that the storm of the Revolution burst in full fury 
upon Charleston. Bravely was it met, and for a time, at least, the 



8 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

tide of war was turned aside. In June of that year, attacks both by 
sea and land were planned for the capture of the city, but both 
were foiled. On the 28th, Admiral Sir Peter Parker, with a large 
fleet, heavily armed and manned, attempted to reduce one of the 
harbor defences, a work on Sullivan's Island then known as Fort 
Sullivan, but afterwards, in honor of him who commanded in its 
gallant defence, called 

FORT MOULTRIE. 

The admiral was beaten off with severe loss. One of his ships- 
he had eight in action — was destroyed, others were badly crippled, 
and all by a greatly inferior force in an unfinished fort, with an 
armament lighter in weight and less in number. 

It was in this action that Sergeant Jasper, one of the garrison, 
sprang from the outer wall of the fort to regain the flag, which had 
been cut away by a cannon shot, and replanted it upon the parapet 
under a very heavy fire, exclaiming as he did so: " Don't let's fight 
without a flag! " 

The brave fellow was afterwards killed at the siege of Savannah, 
in October, 1779, and a handsome monument on the battery in 
Charleston, called the " Jasper Monument," commemorates his gal- 
lantry and devotion, and that of his comrades who acquitted them- 
selves so well in those days of '76. The following lines and many 
others of similar import were much sung in Charleston, in the olden 
time, to the tune of " Yankee Doodle: " 

'* The first of June the British fleet 
Appeared off Charleston Harbor, 
The Twenty-eighth attacked the fort, 
And wounded Youug, the barber. 

"Sir Peter Parker, foolish man 
To run himself in danger ; 
Don't you think we served him right 
To treat him hke a stranger ? ' 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON, 9 

The present fort stands on the site of the old one, and in its day 
has passed through a fiercer ordeal and become even more famous. 
It is in full view from the city, and but a short distance away across 
the beautiful bay. 

While things were being made so uncomfortable for the Admiral, 
Sir Henry Clinton's troops attempted to cross to Sullivan's Island 
from the south end of Long Island, to attack the fort in the rear. 
But they were met at the inlet by Colonel Thompson's command, 
and were treated much as the sailors had been; and so the expedi- 
tion was abandoned, and for three years the city and State had 
peace. 

THE FIRST SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 

But Charleston had not seen the last of Sir Henry. He came back 
with an army in February, 1780, and advancing this time by way of 
John's and James Islands, crossed the Ashley River above the city 
and laid siege to it from the rear on the main land. About the same 
time, the fleet, mindful of its former drubbing, ran past Fort Moul- 
trie, under a heavy fire, without attempting to engage it, and, in 
conjunction with batteries erected on James Island, threatened the 
city from the south and west. 

A shot from one of these batteries, that stood near the conspicu- 
ous point called the " Hundred Pines," left a mark in Charleston 
which may still be seen. At the intersection of Broad and Meeting 
streets there was then placed a statue of William Pitt, raised by the 
grateful colonists in recognition of that statesman's fearless espousal 
of their cause in the British Parliament, in resisting the Stamp Act 
and other oppressive measures. 

A cannon shot from James Island, unmindful of the distinguished 
statesman at home, and of the fact that he was then upholding his 
government manfully in the pending struggle, struck the statue, 



io SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

carrying away its arm, and otherwise mutilating it. It now stands 
in Washington Square, hard by its former location, with its beauty 
still sadly marred by what was a home bullet if not a " home 
thrust." 

General Lincoln, who commanded the American forces, should 
not have attempted to stand a siege in the city, but should have 
saved his little army — sadly needed elsewhere — while yet there was 
time. He was in a cul-de-sac, without hope of relief, was largely 
outnumbered, and his capitulation was only a question of time. 

This, after a brave resistance, came on the 12th of May, 1780, and 
Charleston remained in possession of the British until December, 
1782. It is a satisfaction to know that my Lord Cornwallis, who, 
shortly after the fall of Charleston, succeeded to the command of 
the British forces in South Carolina, little more than a year there- 
after, to wit, in October, 1781, was compelled by Washington to 
accept at Yorktown exactly the same terms of surrender that had 
been accorded to Lincoln at Charleston, and was, moreover, re- 
quired to make his surrender to Lincoln himself. No wonder his 
bands played while marching out of Yorktown: 
" The world is turning upside down." 

What is said to be a relic of General Lincoln's works for the de- 
fence of Charleston, may still be seen on Marion Square in front 
of the citadel Academy. It is built of masonry, fenced in with an 
iron railing, and is said to have been a part of a horn-work near 
the centre of the defences. 

Shortly before the surrender of the city, its principal magazine, in 
a brick building still standing on Cumberland near Church Street, 
was endangered by the British shells. The powder was removed 
to a room under the then Exchange, the present Post-Office, and 
bricked up. There it remained undiscovered during the entire 
British occupation of the city (though their provost's office was in 



12 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

the same building), and was found by the Americans untouched on 
their return in December, 1782. 

Of interest in this connection is the fact that in the churchyard 
of St. Mary's Church, on Hasel Street, are buried the Demoiselles 
de Grasse, two daughters of the French admiral, Comte de Grasse, 
— he who lent such efficient aid to Washington at Yorktown. They 
came to Charleston to escape the horrors of San Domingo, and 
died of yellow fever, while yet very young. A marble slab with 
appropriate inscription marks their grave. In the inscription it is 
mentioned that Admiral de Grasse was a member of the American 
Society of "The Cincinnati." 

AFTER THE REVOLUTION. 

The war over, prosperity gradually returned. The city grew 
apace, and the period of the war of 1812 passed without special in- 
cident. The days of nullification, 1831-3, went by, happily, without 
serious mishap. In 1850 Charleston buried, with every mark of 
sorrow and the greatest veneration, 

HON. JOHN C. CALHOUN, 

Senator, Vice-President, and South Carolina's greatest statesman. 
His remains lie in the cemetery of St. Philip's Church, on Church 
Street, and it is only within the past few years that his resting- 
place has been marked by the handsome monument erected by the 
State. A cenotaph more befitting his name and fame is now in 
course of erection, under the auspices of a private memorial asso- 
ciation, on Marion Square, which, when completed, will be an 
ornament to the city, and worthy the greatness of him it com- 
memorates, and of the love his people bear him. 

It is said that Mr. Calhoun's body was privately exhumed at the 
time of the attack on Fort Sumter by the Federal fleet in April, 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. I3 

1863, to be removed from the city in case of its surrender. When 
the fleet retired the body was buried again, and the grave has not 
been disturbed since except to substitute the present monument for 
the old slab. 

ST. PHILIP'S CHURCH, 

or rather the parish of St. Philip's, is the oldest in Charleston. The 
first church was built in 1681, on the corner of Broad and Meeting 
streets, the present site of St. Michael's. Later the location was 
changed to where it now stands, and in 1838 the present handsome 
building was erected. Formerly there was a fine chime of bells 
in its steeple, but they were given during the late war to be cast 
into cannon, and have never been replaced. 
More fortunate as to its bells was 

ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH, 

whose interesting story will presently be told. About the middle of 
the last century the whole of Charles Town was divided by Act of 
Assembly into two parishes; that part of the town north of Broad 
Street to be known as St. Philip's, and all south of that street as 
St. Michael's. 

The present church of St. Michael's was built in 1752-61, the de- 
sign, it is said, being virtually the same as that of St. Martin's-in- 
the-Fields, London (which latter is believed to be a creation of Sir 
Christopher Wren) — and a quaint old edifice it is from a modern 
standpoint of ecclesiology, though its proportions — those of the 
steeple especially — are very fine. From the lookout in the steeple 
the views of Charleston and the region adjacent are extensive and 
very interesting. At your feet lies the city; to the north spreads 
out the peninsula upon whose southern extremity it is built, and 
on the east are the Cooper River, with its tributary the Wando, 
and the village of Mt. Pleasant. At the southeast lie Sullivan's 



I4 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON, 

Island, Moultrieville, with its myriad of summer cottages, and Fort 
Moultrie. Fort Sumter stands in the mouth of the harbor, only 
three miles distant, keeping watch as of old, grim and silent now, 
with a beacon light to aid the incoming ships, but no hostile can- 
non to forbid their entrance. 

Near-by is Cumming's Point, the site of Battery Gregg, on the 
northern end of Morris Island, and nearer to you is Fort Johnson 
on James Island — names historic, all — while beyond all lies the 
"mighty deep," blue and limitless. 

Charleston alone can properly be called the " City by the Sea." 
No other lies so near, or in such full sight of the ocean — none has 
more beautiful water views. 

Looking south one sees James Island and the broad Ashley 
River near its junction at White Point with the Cooper, while on 
the west are the Ashley again, the main land of St. Andrews, and 
Wappoo Cut, which connects the Ashley with the Stono River, and 
furnishes inland navigation to the Sea Islands, Beaufort, Port 
Royal and Savannah. 

The steeple of St. Michael's is a conspicuous landmark, and can 
be seen at sea from a long distance. On account of the extensive 
view it commands it was occupied as a Confederate signal station 
. during the siege of Charleston, from whence the movements of the 
Federal fleet and forces were promptly reported, and an accurate 
account kept of the shells thrown into the city. It was a prominent 
target for the " Swamp Angel " and other Federal batteries, but the 
artillerists failed in every effort to strike it. The body of the church 
was struck several times, but the damage done was not very great. 

The sexton in his manner of describing the church, and his unre- 
lenting war upon his aspirates, leads one to believe that he is an 
importation from Westminster. He says in stereotyped style: 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 15 

" A shell passed in where is now the h-east window — there was no 
h-east window there then— and h-exploded in the chancel near the 
h-altar. Another burst h-under the h-organ loft. 'Ow could they 
so desecrate these 'oly places! " 

St. Michael's chime of bells was brought from England in 1764. 
They were seized by the British as spoil of war and sent to England, 
when they evacuated the city in 1782. The next year they were re- 
purchased and returned to Charleston. In 1861 they were sent for 
safety to Columbia, remaining there until that city was taken pos- 
session of by General Sherman, in February, 1865. In the fire that 
ensued upon his occupation of Columbia the bells were ruined and 
two of them were lost. But after the war the fragments were 
gathered up and sent to England to the successors of those who 
had cast them a century before. The firm fortunately had the 
original patterns from which the chime had been made, and so the 
bells were recast, almost identical with the first, and having safely 
made their fifth voyage across the Atlantic, were restored amid 
great rejoicing, to the steeple of St. Michael's, where, let us hope, 
they may be allowed at last to rest, calling the people to prayer and 
peace, never more to be disturbed by war's dread alarms. Did ever 
bells have a more eventful history? 

CHARLESTON IN THE LATE WAR. 

Standing at the junction of East and South Batteries, the beauti- 
ful promenade and park of Charleston, one can see at a glance most 
of the points in the harbor that were conspicuous in the attack and 
defence of the city during the late war. 

The name " Battery " given to this charming pleasure-ground, 
our point of observation, is historic, for here a century and a half 
ago stood " Broughton's Battery," for defence against Frenchman 
and Spaniard. 



1 6 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

Near-by, in the Cooper River, is 

CASTLH P1NCKNEY, 

principally remarkable for the absence of any castle, as the word is 
usually understood. It was occupied by the Confederate forces as 
one of the harbor defences as early as December, i860, shortly after 
the evacuation of Moultrie by Major Anderson, and remained in 
their possession until they abandoned the city in 1865, but it never 
came into action during the siege. It is now used by the National 
Government as a depot for supplies, principally for the lighthouse 
department. Here probably the first blood of the late war was shed, 
one of the garrison having been killed by the accidental discharge 
of a musket soon after the occupation of the place. 

On Sullivan's Island, farther away, Fort Moultrie may be seen. 
Its revolutionary history has been given already, but it bore a prom- 
inent part also in the troubles of our own times, and here really 
was committed the first hostile act of the war between the States. 

On the night of December 26, i860, just six days after the passage 
of the ordinance of secession by the State convention, Major An- 
derson, commanding at Moultrie, having first spiked his cannon 
and burned their carriages, evacuated that fort and threw his gar- 
rison into Sumter. This was considered a breach of faith, a viola- 
tion of the status quo and an act of war, and the other points of 
defence in the harbor were promptly seized by the State forces, and 
at Moultrie, not Sumter, was the first overt act of war. Moultrie 
took an active part in the reduction of Sumter by the Confederates, 
getting a " Roland for its Oliver," and was equally active in the de- 
fence of that fort during the several attacks upon it and its long 
bombardment by the Federal forces. Its guns were seldom quiet 
long at a time during the last two years of the war. But though 
often under heavy fire, Moultrie was never made the object of 
especial or persistent attack, and it escaped in great degree the trials 
that befel Sumter and Wagner. 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 17 

Outside its walls may be seen the grave of the famous half-breed 
Seminole chief 

OSCEOLA, 

who, in 1837, was treacherously captured by the United States 
troops, in Florida, while under flag of truce, and was held a prisoner 
herb until he died. 

Near-by is another grave, and of later date — that of the officers 
and crew of the monitor Patapsco, which was sunk by a Confederate 
torpedo, carrying down nearly all on board. 

To the right of Moultrie, rising directly from the water, stands 

FORT SUMTER. 

" Clarum et Venerabile Nomen." 

It is about three miles from the Battery in a southeasterly direc- 
tion, and is in full view from any point of prominence in the city. 
It was a peculiarity of many of the engagements around Charles- 
ton that they were in sight from its wharves and buildings. 

When Major Anderson occupied Sumter, after his abandonment 
of Moultrie on December 26, i860, steps were at once taken by the 
State authorities to strengthen the existing works and to throw up 
others, as well for the defence of the harbor as for the reduction of 
the former fort. 

About daylight on the morning of April 12, 1861, General Beau- 
regard opened fire on Sumter. An officer who watched the flight 
of the first shell, told the writer that it seemed to hang hesitatingly 
for an instant over the fort before it burst, as if loath to sound the 
tocsin of war, and with its explosion there occurred to him involun- 
tarily Homer's description of Achilles' wrath: 

"The direful spring of woes unnumbered." 
How fully was his forecast verified! 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. ig 

From Confederate works on James, Morris and Sullivan's Islands, 
and from a floating battery in the harbor, fire on the fort was kept 
up for nearly two days — hot shot from Moultrie firing its barracks 
and endangering the magazine. Sumter replied briskly, but was 
overmatched, and on the 13th was compelled to surrender. A 
Federal fleet outside the harbor, that had made no attempt to aid 
them, received Major Anderson and his garrison on board and 
sailed away — the Confederates occupied the fort, and the war be- 
tween the States was begun. Major Anderson carried with him 
the United States' flag under which he had fought, and four years 
later, when the Confederate forces had abandoned the fort, the same 
flag was again raised over Sumter. No lives were lost on either side 
during the action — a most remarkable fact, considering the heavy 
fire by both — but in saluting their flag when it was hauled down, 
there were casualties to two members of the garrison from the 
bursting of a gun. 

CONFEDERATE DEFENCE OF SUMTER. 
After their capture of the fort, the Confederates at once busied 
themselves to repair damages, to improve the armament, and gen- 
erally to place the work in better posture for defence. For two 
years it was not molested, but upon the 7th of April, 1863, it under- 
went a fiery ordeal, and was made to test the efficacy of masonry to 
resist an attack of ironclads. Upon that clay the powerful Federal 
fleet under Admiral Dupont, consisting of the ironclad Xcw Iron- 
sides, and the monitors Catskill, Keokuk, }fontauk, Xahant, Xan- 
tucket, Passaic, Patapsco, and JVcchazvkcu advanced to the attack of 
Fort Sumter. The fort greeted their coming by a salute to its own 
flag. Boldly the fleet came on, and soon the battle of the giants 
was joined. Sumter was ably seconded by Fort Moultrie and bat- 
teries on Sullivan's and Morris Islands, and without their very 
effective assistance the demolition of its walls might have sooner 
begun. 



20 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

The fleet made no attempt to run past the fort, as was done at 
Mobile, New Orleans and Vicksburg, but kept up the fight with 
spirit until compelled to retire beaten and much damaged. One of 
the monitors, the Keokuk, could hardly be kept afloat, and the next 
day she sunk at her moorings and was lost. On board her the Con- 
federates found a copy of the Federal Signal Code, the key to which 
was learned from a prisoner, and it stood them in good stead after- 
wards in the operations on Morris Island. In the engagement the 
fleet fired, perhaps, a hundred shots, of which nearly one-half took 
effect on Sumter — nor was Moultrie forgotten. As in the first fight, 
not one of the garrison was killed, but much injury was done to the 
walls of the fort. This splendid action could easily be seen from 
the Battery and other points in the city. 

For about three months Sumter had comparative quiet — rudely 
interrupted by the Federals' descent on Morris Island in July, 1863, 
and to be enjoyed no more while the war lasted. A detailed ac- 
count of this descent upon Morris Island will be found elsewhere 
under the head of " Fort Wagner." 

During the Federal operations on Morris Island for the reduc- 
tion of Wagner in July-September, 1863, the fire from Sumter was 
found to be most effective, both in repelling assaults and in check- 
ing the slow advances by sap upon the former stronghold. This 
would have been cause sufficient, but for many other reasons Sum- 
ter's destruction was decreed, and General Gillmore, with every fa- 
cility for its accomplishment, bent himself to the task. 

Early in August, earthworks mounting the most powerful ar- 
tillery then known to warfare, were thrown up on Morris Island, in 
the line of the approaches to Wagner, varying in distance from 
Sumter, from two to two and a half miles. About the middle of 
the month these batteries opened, delivering their fire upon Sum- 
ter directly over Wagner and Gregg. The weight of this fire may 




PORT SUMTER, CHARLESTON HARBOR. 



22 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

be inferred from the fact that in less than ten days more than 5,000 
missiles — many of them rifled 300-pounders — weighing in the aggre- 
gate nearly 300 tons, were hurled at Sumter alone. Before it walls 
of brick and stone went down like chaff, and by September 1st, 
1863, Sumter may be said to have ceased to be a factor of aggression 
in the defences of Charleston. Its guns that were not destroyed 
were moved to other points in the harbor, its artillery garrison was 
replaced by infantry, and it could hardly be called a menace to an 
iron-clad ship of war; but there was no thought of abandoning the 
post. As the siege went on, sand-bags took the place of stone- 
walls, the work of repair kept pace with that of demolition, and an 
earthwork in all the parts exposed to fire from Morris Island re- 
placed the masonry, whose very debris was utilized in defence. 

Nor did the fire of the Federals cease with those September days. 
It was kept up at intervals until the end, and at much shorter range, 
when Battery Gregg fell into their hands, knocking casemate and 
parapet into smithereens. But though the fort could not reply, it 
would not yield, and it continued to show a bold front, as two 
storming parties — attempting assaults from boats at different times 
— found to their cost. They were repelled with loss on both occa- 
sions by the infantry garrison, assisted by the guns of other works 
in the harbor, one of the attacking parties leaving many prisoners 
behind. 

There were naturally many casualties from a fire so fierce and 
long-sustained, but the flag was saluted by a single gun as it was 
raised and lowered morning and evening, and it continued to wave 
over the fort until February, 1865. On the 17th of that month the 
advance of General Sherman, through the central part of the State, 
and not the attacking force in front, compelled the evacuation of 
Charleston. That night the troops were withdrawn from Sumter 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 23 

and other points in the harbor, and the works they had defended 
so long and well stood vacant. 

The next day a small boat, sent by the mayor of the city, brought 
word to Admiral Dahlgren that the place was abandoned. Charles- 
ton and Sumter were won! 

It is worthy of note, as illustrating the relative capacity of sand 
and masonry to resist the fire of modern artillery, that the guns 
which easily demolished the stone-walls of Sumter more than two 
miles distant, did but little damage to Wagner, an earthwork, less 
than a mile away, though upon the latter their fire was heavier 
and more concentrated, and was supplemented by a fire equally 
heavy from the fleet. 

No attempt will be made to describe the scenes attending the 



EVACUATION OF THE CITY. 

It may, however, interest passengers by the Atlantic Coast Line 
to know that at its station in the city, there occurred in the midst 
of the crowd, hurry, plunder and confusion of the evacuation, a 
fearful explosion of ordnance stores, ' from which, and from 
the destructive fire it caused, resulted great loss of life and 
property. The bodies of many of the victims were never recovered. 



FORT JOHNSON. 

On James Island, northwest of Sumter, is Fort Johnson, now 
used as a quarantine station. It is an old post antedating the Revo- 
lution. In this fort the stamped paper was stored by the British 
authorities in 1765. Hearing of it, a force from Charles Town 
crossed to the island, took possession of the fort, overpowered the 



24 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

garrison, and compelled the officer in command of a sloop of war 
lying in the stream to receive the hated paper on board, and to 
leave the harbor. In November, 1775, the fort engaged two British 
ships of war, but seems not to have been conspicuous in the Revolu- 
tion after that date. It bore a brave part in the first attack upon 
Fort Sumter, and from a mortar battery in Fort Johnson the first 
shell — the signal for a general bombardment and a great civil war — 
was thrown into Sumter on the memorable 12th of April, 1861. 
Johnson took part also in the Confederate defence of Sumter and of 
other points in the harbor, and was very active in aiding in re- 
sisting the assaults upon and approaches to Fort Wagner. 

An attempt was made in July, 1864, by a party coming in barges 
from Morris Island, to capture Johnson. The attack was easily 
repelled by the infantry and artillery, and many of the attacking 
party with their boats were captured by the Confederates. No other 
serious demonstration was made against the fort by the Federals, 
but had they been successful at 

SECESSIONVILLE, 

Fort Johnson might have fared differently. Secessionville is on 
James Island, southwest from Fort Johnson, and there, on the 16th 
of June, 1862, was a sharp land engagement between Confederates 
and Federals. The action wss well sustained on both sides, but 
after several hours' hard fighting the Federals were defeated, and 
withdrew from the island entirely. This movement was probably 
intended as the precursor of an advance by land upon Charleston 
and to the rear of the harbor defences, and with its success the 
story of Sir Henry Clinton might in some respects have been re- 
peated. 

MORRIS ISLAND. 

Farther to sea beyond Fort Johnson is Cumming's Point, the 



26 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON, 

northern end of Morris Island. This flat spit of sand extending 
into the ocean is indeed classic ground. Here was erected the first 
iron-clad fortification ever used in active warfare, called the Stevens' 
Battery. It was hotly engaged in the bombardment of Fort Sum- 
ter by the Confederates, and the perfect protection afforded by its 
metal casemates against the heavy shot of Sumter — less than a mile 
away — determined the adaptation of the method to ships of war. 
It was adopted in the construction of the ironclad Virginia, and one 
of the results of her conflict with the Monitor in Hampton Roads 
was a complete revolution in naval warfare. 
Upon Cumming's Point, too, was afterwards erected 

BATTERY GREGG, 

which had so large a share in the defence of Morris Island, the 
several attacks upon Sumter, and the long siege of Wagner. It 
sustained frequent and heavy bombardments from the Federal fleet, 
and was twice assaulted by strong forces in barges (August and 
September, 1863), but it repulsed both attacks with loss to the 
assailants, and was held until the evacuation of Wagner. 

Nearly a mile to the south of Gregg, on the same island, was 
situated 

FORT WAGNER, 

m whose siege of fifty-six days, from July to September, 1863, for 
resolution and persistence in attack, and for endurance and ob- 
stinacy in defence, has never been surpassed, if ever equaled, in an- 
cient or modern times. 

Shortly after the occupation of Sumter by Major Anderson, in 
December, i860, a battery mounting two guns was built very near 
what was afterward the site of Wagner. 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 27 

On the 9th of January, 1861, the 

STEAMER "STAR OF THE WEST," 

attempting to enter the harbor with supplies for the garrison of 
Sumter, was compelled by shots from this battery to put to sea 
again. Here, therefore, more than three months before the firing 
on Sumter, was fired the first shot of the war. 

On the 10th of July, 1863, the Federal troops, under cover of a 
heavy fire from land batteries and from the fleet, crossed from Folly 
Island, drove off the small Confederate force, and established them- 
selves on the South end of Morris Island, about three miles from 
Fort Wagner. The descent was admirably managed. The Federals 
had occupied Folly, the first island south of Morris, and separated 
from it only by a narrow inlet, for some time unknown to the Con- 
federates; and so perfect was their discipline that the latter were 
allowed to wreck the blockade runner Ruby, ashore in Lighthouse 
Inlet, within a quarter of a mile of the Federals' concealed position, 
without anything being done to betray the presence of troops and 
ten strong batteries making ready for the crossing to Morris Island. 

The day after the crossing, Wagner was assaulted by a large 
force, which was repulsed with heavy loss after a hard fight. On 
the 18th of July the assault was renewed. It was preceded in this 
instance by a terrific bombardment from land batteries mounting 
thirty-six pieces of heavy calibre, aided by a fleet of eleven ships, 
six of which were iron-clad. For eight long hours they rained a 
storm of shot and shell upon the fort, 9,000 missiles being thrown, 
and then the troops sprang to the attack; but it was useless — they 
were again hurled back, in spite of their most gallant efforts, beaten 
with fearful loss; and it was seer that Wagner could not be taken 
by assault. 

In these assaults the garrison of Wagner was greatly assisted by 



28 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

the fire of Fort Sumter, Battery Gregg, and the works on James 
Island, which, though at long range, was very effective. The siege 
now began, and for nearly two months the toilsome approaches 
slowly advanced — the price for every foot gained and lost being 
paid in blood — until in September the trenches reached the moat 
of the fort. During the whole of the advance by sap the fort was 
subjected to the heaviest of cannonades from battery and fleet by 
day and night. On the 5th of September there were thrown inlo 
the fort by the land batteries alone nearly 15,000 projectiles. Wag- 
ner was no longer tenable; the gallant defence had given time for 
the completion of an interior line of strong works for the protec- 
tion of Charleston; the Federal column, ready to assault on the 
following day, was not fifty yards off, and on the night of Septem- 
ber 7, 1863, the garrisons were quietly withdrawn from it and from 
Battery Gregg, and Morris Island was abandoned. 

The troops were removed in barges, and so skilfully was the 
evacuation conducted that the movement was not discovered by the 
Federal forces, though they were within a stone's-throw. Two of 
the barges were captured by the picket boats of the fleet. 

Nothing is left to mark the spots where Gregg and Wagner 
stood. The requiem of those who there fought and died so bravely 
is chanted only by the sad sea waves, which have obliterated all 
signs of former conflict, and at Wagner have made a breach across 
the island, dividing it in two. 

On the marsh, a short distance to the north of Wagner, was 
erected, while the siege was progressing, the famous 

"SWAMP ANGEL/' 

and other batteries, from which the city was shelled. The first shell 
was thrown into Charleston on the 226. of August, 1863. The 
" Swamp Angel " gun is said to have burst after a few discharges. 



\ 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 29 

These batteries were a triumph of engineering skill and labor, the 
obstacles overcome in their building being seemingly insuperable. 
To them were added, after the evacuation of Battery Gregg by the 
Confederates, others at Cumming's Point, mounting guns of 200 
and 300 pounds calibre. From these a slow and steady shelling of 
the city was kept up for nearly twenty months, with but little inter- 
val, until the evacuation in February, 1865. 

A shelling so severe and prolonged caused of course, much loss 
of life and great damage to property, and for nearly a year before 
the evacuation of the city, its lower or southern part was in great 
measure deserted. 

There were many other actions, both naval and military, of 
greater or less importance in the neighborhood of Charleston, ac- 
counts of which can hardly be compressed into an article of this 
character. For them a more comprehensive history must be sought. 
Nor will its limits admit of a description of resorts and places of 
interest in and near the city. It may, however, be permitted to 
mention among others the 

ORPHAN HOUSE, 

that ancient and admirable charity, whose handsome buildings and 
excellent management have attracted so much deserved admiration. 

THE CITADEL ACADEMY, 

the West Point of South Carolina; 

THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS; 
MAGNOLIA CEMETERY, 

the beautiful resting-place of the dead; 

MAGNOLIA-ON-THE-ASHLEY, 
in the early spring a veritable forest of azaleas and camellias, 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 3I 

The old church of 

ST. ANDREW, 

now easily accessible by the handsome new bridge across the Ash- 
ley, and though last, not least, the old colonial church of 

ST. JAMES, GOOSE CREEK, 

near Otranto, on the Atlantic Coast Line, fifteen miles from the 
city. The building is kept in very good condition, and services are 
held in it regularly. Over the chancel, above the high old pulpit 
with its quaint old sounding-board, still stand the royal arms of 
Great Britain. Upon the walls are hatchments and tablets of those 
long passed away, some of whom lie in the little graveyard outside. 
Near the church may be seen a dilapidated building, once the 
parsonage, and the place where " Mad Archy Campbell," one of 
the British garrison of Charleston, with pistol in hand, compelled 
the frightened pastor to marry him to his unwilling sweetheart. 
The story is graphically told in Gilmore Simms' " Katherine Ash- 
ton." 

The parish of St. James, Goose Creek, in common with other 
parishes of the seaboard counties, was formerly entitled to repre- 
sentation in the State legislature, and once in replying to the re- 
marks of its member, a senator from one of the western counties- 
districts they were then called — who was not well posted in the 
parish system or names, said that he " did not understand the allu- 
sion of the gentleman from St. Goose." 

To advise one to see Charleston's 

BATTERY, 

which is a battery only in name, is hardly necessary. " Cela va 
sans dire," a sentence that in this connection may perhaps be freely 
translated to mean: " One goes there without being told." 



ADDENDA. 



THE EARTHQUAKE. 

Since our sketch of Charleston was prepared for the press, that 
city has been visited by. a calamity so dreadful in its effects, that 
its former ills and sufferings, many and great though they have 
been, seem, in comparison, to be almost nothing. To a city that 
had twice endured the terrors of siege; that had been devastated by 
fire, scourged by pestilence, and but little more than a year ago 
swept by the fury of a cyclone, it remained to experience the un- 
speakable horror and almost utter destruction of that most awful 
of all calamities, an earthquake. 

About ten o'clock on the night of August 31, 1886, was felt in 
Charleston the first of a series of shocks of earthquake, by which 
parts of that fair city were laid in ruins, many of its citizens killed 
or maimed, and property destroyed or damaged to an extent that 
can hardly be appreciated except by those who saw for themselves. 
It is said that in a few seconds the casualties resulting to life and 
limb exceeded in number those caused in the city proper by its shell- 
ing during the entire siege of the late war, while the value of the 
property destroyed will not fall short of six millions of dollars. It 
came without warning of any kind — one of the dread features of this 
fearful visitation — to the city resting in fancied security in the quiet 
of night, accompanied by a mighty roar, the growl as it were of 
some resistless, relentless demon, and in an instant almost the work 
of ruin was done. The people seemed to realize intuitively what 



34 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 

was upon them and, as if by instinct, rushed to the streets and open 
spaces for safety. Even there many were crushed by falling walls 
and timbers. Such a sight as met the view of the panic-stricken 
inhabitants as they came from their houses may be seen — it cannot 
be described. Everywhere buildings were crumbling to the ground; 
walls and chimneys were toppling and falling; the earth in many 
places was rent in small fissures, from which sand and water were 
thrown; people were flying in all directions; on all sides could be 
heard the groans of the wounded, the cries and wailing of women 
and children, the shrieks and prayers of terrified negroes, while 
above all there arose the horrid roar of the earthquake, as with 
repeated shocks it came to complete its work of destruction. That 
nothing might be wanting to this night of horrors, fires broke out 
in many places, adding their lurid glare to the scenes of ruin and 
despair. Lamps had been overturned and broken in the deserted 
houses, and the oil from them bursting into flames had fired the 
city. The buildings in which the fire apparatus was kept had suf- 
fered with the rest, and in spite of their utmost efforts it was long 
before the brave men of the fire department could make their ma- 
chines available; but to their eternal praise and that of the equally 
brave and devoted volunteers who rendered such efficient assistance, 
some of the engines were finally got to work, and notwithstanding 
the confusion of the surroundings and a short supply of water, the 
fires were at last subdued. 

From the night of the 31st of August up to the time of this writing 
(October 1st), shocks of earthquake of greater or less violence have 
been felt at intervals in Charleston and its vicinity, but nearly all the 
ruin was wrought on that fatal first night. The shocks were plainly 
perceptible in many other parts of the country, but their destructive 
effects were confined almost entirely to Charleston, the neighboring 
town of Summerville, and to the country adjacent to both. 



3 6 SKETCH OF CHARLESTON, 

For a time all communication with the city was cut off, and this 
added greatly to the distress of the situation. All the railroads were 
badly wrecked, telegraph wires were down far and near, and access 
could be had by water only. 

The men of Charleston, schooled to adversity and endurance, 
were not found wanting in this their hour of supreme trial. Rally- 
ing from the first stunning blow they addressed themselves to the 
herculean and seemingly hopeless task before them. Returning to 
their ruined homes they extinguished many fires before help could 
be had from the fire department, women and children were taken 
to places of safety, temporary shelters were improvised, the dead 
were buried, and measures were at once adopted for the succor and 
relief of the wounded and needy. 

And to them, bravely struggling, the great heart of the American 
people went out in earnest and active sympathy. Aid in money and 
supplies was freely sent. Contributions, amounting already to over 
half a million of dollars, have been received, and the end is not yet. 
Nor can the assistance be greater than the need. All will be care- 
fully and judiciously applied; but amid such widespread destruction 
there cannot fail to be cases of destitution and suffering in spite of 
the utmost efforts and most liberal offerings. 

Of the places in the city described in our sketch all were more or 
less damaged. St. Philip's Church was almost a complete ruin; S\ 
Michael's was greatly injured, both in the body of the building and 
in the spire, which latter it was feared would have to come down, 
but happily its much-traveled bells still hang in their accustomed 
place. All the public buildings were shattered to a greater or less 
extent; the beautiful Custom-House, the Post-Office, Chamber of 
Commerce, main Station House, City Hall, Court House, the 
churches of the city almost without exception. Medical College, 
Roper Hospital, Orphan House, Citadel Academy, and very many 



SKETCH OF CHARLESTON. 37 

others which our space does not admit of mentioning. Outside of 
the city the church of St. Andrews, and the quaint old colonial 
church of St. James, Goose Creek, did not escape the general ruin, 
but had many of their ancient points of interest obliterated or sadly 
marred. Neither the shipping nor places of note in the harbor -were 
damaged materially. 

The brave old city will survive this shock, too, though by far the 
severest blow to its prosperity and well-being it has ever received. 
The indomitable spirit and energy of its people will, in the future 
as in the past, maintain it in its accustomed rank among the cities 
of the world in spite of all obstacles, and Charleston will continue 
as heretofore, on account of its excellent harbor, beautiful location 
and historical interest to attract business men, pleasure seekers and 
students alike. 









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